I received quite a bit of mail about cleaning silver. Here are a few tips that were passed along:
"One "recipe" recommends BOILING the water, salt, baking soda, & silver pieces in a pan on the stove. http://www.doityourself.com/stry/silver"
"I have heard that anything gritty like baking soda or salt or toothpaste can scratch silver.
Silver Cleaning with Household Basics - If you have a small job, the best silver polish is white toothpaste. Dab some on your finger, and rub into the tarnish.
For bigger pieces, use baking soda and a clean, damp sponge. Make a paste of baking soda and water. Scoop the paste onto the sponge, and rub the paste into the silver. Rinse with hot water and polish dry with a soft, clean cloth.
For badly tarnished silver, leave the baking soda paste on the silver for an hour or so, before cleaning off with the help of the sponge and hot water.
Another tip ... store your silver with a piece of chalk or charcoal. It will absorb moisture and help avoid the tarnish in the first place."